New Zealands Minister Poto Williams

New Zealand's building law reform encourages offsite construction

New building laws to support housing supply and affordability with increased consumer confidence in the building sector contain implications for offsite construction.

The changes passed in NZ’s Parliament last week for a building law reform in offsite construction are the first phase of a suite of reforms to the Building Act that aim to lift the efficiency and quality of building work and provide further scope and opportunity for redress in the event of disputes.

“The Government is committed to delivering affordable housing quickly and efficiently, increasing sector productivity and reducing the cost of building. These laws deliver on this commitment by taking advantage of modern technology, such as offsite construction and manufacturing”, Building and Construction Minister Poto Williams says. (main pic)

“These reforms will support the Government’s priority of speeding up the supply of housing without compromising on the quality of the homes New Zealand needs and deserves.”

Of significant relevance to offsite construction, a new modular component manufacturer scheme will allow offsite construction manufacturers who meet certain requirements to be certified.

The certification will permit offsite manufacturers to sign off their own designs and construction.

“We are bringing building consenting processes into the 2020s to make the most of industry innovation and modern technologies. Offsite manufacturers have an important role to play in delivering the modern, healthy homes we need,” Poto Williams says.

Within the amended Act there’s a new requirement for manufacturers and importers to make information about building products and their uses publicly available. This will help builders and designers choose the right products and install them in the way intended and be held accountable for doing so, which will lead to safer and more durable buildings.

“We are giving homeowners greater confidence that the building products being included in building work are fit for purpose, installed correctly, and will perform as expected,” says Poto Williams.

“Being transparent about product information will result in benefits across the building system. It will save time in the building consenting process, as authorities will have the right information readily available, and it will support small businesses competing with international big brands by making it easier for consumers to make informed decisions.

The NZ Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is further consulting with the sector to develop new regulations on other parts of the Bill to support the modular component manufacturing scheme, CodeMark changes and the new building product information requirements.


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